Canadian wealth inequality at its worst since 1960, RBC wealth management says

Wealth inequality in Canada has reached its lowest level since 1960 with the top 10 per cent of earners taking home over half the country’s wealth, a new report from the RBC Wealth Management Group shows.

According to the report, the richest 10 per of the 10 per set out to capture more than half of the countrys wealth in 2020, while the bottom half captured less than half.

In a sign of growing inequality, the top 0.1 per cent captured more than 10 per to one of the entire population in 2020.

“In the first half of 2020, the bottom 40 per cent gained more wealth from all sources than the top 40 per of wealth,” said RBC Senior Vice President Michael J. Miller.

“The gap between the bottom and top 40 is widening, and that is what is really troubling.”

The report found that the top 20 per cent took home almost three times as much wealth in 2016 as the bottom 20 per of Canada’s population.

The richest 40 per group had a net gain of almost $2.4 billion in 2020 compared to the bottom 50 per group’s net gain, the report found.

Overall, the wealth gap between wealthy Canadians and the rest of the population was also wider in 2020 than in 2016, with the richest 20 per group having a net loss of $5.4 trillion, or nearly 40 per per cent.

RBC said in a statement the report showed the “real impact” of the wealth inequality was still to come in 2020 as well as the impact on wealth distribution.

Canada has the highest proportion of billionaires in the world at over one-third, and in 2020 the top 1 per cent had more wealth than the bottom 95 per cent combined, according to the U.S. billionaire census report.

However, the number of billionaires has fallen from nearly four million in 2016 to just under 3 million in 2020 and is now the smallest proportion of the total population since World War II, according the report.